Islamic Jihad terrorist in Gaza
Islamic Jihad terrorist in Gaza Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Fearing an Israeli surprise attack, Islamic Jihad has raised its “alert state” to its highest level, Yediot Aharonot reported, citing the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat.

Senior officials in the Islamic Jihad terror group told Al-Hayat that the group was raising its alert state to prepare for a possible Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip. They said their response would be “for purposes of self-defense” and “deterrence.”

Yediot Aharonot also cited reports that Islamic Jihad was “closely monitoring” the movements of Israeli civilians near Gaza, including those within nearby Israeli communities.

The report comes amidst escalating tensions between Israel and Gaza terror groups after Israel’s destruction at the end of October of a terror tunnel leading from Gaza into sovereign Israeli territory.

Israel has since deployed Iron Dome batteries in several locations in the center of the country, as part of preparations for the possible response of terrorist organizations to the destruction of the tunnel.

In addition, the IDF has stepped up its forces near the fence closing off the Gaza Strip in order to deal quickly with any attempts by Islamic Jihad, which lost a senior member and several other operatives in the destruction of the tunnel, to enact revenge.

On Monday, the IDF arrested a senior Islamic Jihad official located in the Arab city of Arraba in the Lower Galilee.